What’s On travels to Norway
We take a journey to the Arctic circle…
Welcome to our monthly travel series, What’s On travels to… Each month we’ll be bringing you a new destination from around the globe that we’re confident you’ll need on your travel bucket list.
This month, we head to Norway. From the cool, cultured capital to the jaw-dropping gateway to the Arctic, a round-trip journey from Oslo to Tromsø in Norway is a bucket-list experience like no other…
Before you set off, add these must-dos to your itinerary…
Things to do – Oslo
See ‘The Scream’
For art lovers, a visit to Oslo isn’t complete without visiting ‘The Scream’ – located at The National Gallery – a well-known artwork created by Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch. The painting is set in a Fjord overlooking Oslo. No one knows why the character is screaming, although experts say Munch was troubled when he created it. You can also visit The Munch Museum in Oslo, which is dedicated to the artist and where you can find other works of art.
Visit The Vigeland Park
The world’s largest sculpture park by a single artist is located at Frogner Park and is a showcase of Gustav’s Vigeland’s lifework boasting more than 200 sculptures. The highlight is The Monolith. Carved from one piece of granite, it took the artist, and three other carvers 14 years, to create. It is 14m high and depicts 121 humans climbing over each other, meant to represent the human desire to reach out to the divine.
Enjoy a sundowner at Summit Bar
Probably the best sky bar in Norway, the stylish Summit Bar is located on the 21st floor of the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, and is designed to give the feeling of standing on the top of a mountain (hence its name). The intimate chic bar has floor-to-ceiling windows offering guests stunning panoramic views of Oslo and the Fjords and offers great drinks to keep you company as you soak it all in. Head here a little before sunset to catch the views during the day and night. The view alone is worth the trip.
Where to stay – Oslo
Radisson Blu Scandinavia Oslo
The hotel is nestled in the heart of the city, so it’s pretty close to everything on your to-do list. However, it still maintains a calm and peaceful nature – perfect after a long day out in the city. An extensive renovation has transformed the hotel that now boasts modern rooms, each offering scenic views of Oslo. Expect warm Scandinavian friendliness and outstanding services by the hotel’s experienced team. Room rates start at Dhs650 per night for two people.
Where to eat – Oslo
26 North Restaurant & Social Club
Prepared in the traditional Nordic style of cooking, tuck into Norwegian ‘tapas’ and mains that include deer meat and Norwegian King crab loin. The desserts are also not to be missed.
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Things to do – Tromsø
Ride the cable car
Want a spectacular view of Tromsø? Head to the Tromsø cable car, which will take you 421m above sea level to the Storsteinen mountain ledge. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city, the surrounding islands, mountains and fjords. At the top, tuck into a warm meal (we recommend the lamb stew) at the licensed Fjellstua restaurant. And don’t lose your cable car ticket, or else you’re walking down for the return journey.
Sail through the Tromsø Fjords
Fly across the fjords in up to 45 knots onboard a RIB-Boat. If you’re lucky you’ll get to see eagles, puffins, seals and other seabirds. At the pitstop, you can take your snaps and refuel with complimentary coffee and a cinnamon bun before the return journey. The tour includes safety suits, goggles, gloves, and waterproof shoes and the whole experience lasts about three hours.
See the Northern Lights
Good planning, being quick and having an excellent tour guide (try Arctic Concierge, see right) is crucial to catching the magical aurora. The green glowing rings that’s on everyone’s bucket list, is created when electrically charged particles from the sun hit atoms in our atmosphere. Aurora season falls between September and March, so plan accordingly.
Book with: Arctic Concierge
If you’d prefer to have your trip in Arctic Norway planned by the experts, try Arctic Concierge. They provide customised itineraries including dog-sledding, Aurora tours, catered camping trips and more depending on your requirements. Think of them as your own personal help-desk during your stay.
Where to stay – Tromsø
Radisson Blu Tromsø
Radisson Blu Tromsø is perfectly located in Norway’s northernmost city and it provides an ideal base for discovering Arctic wonders. The hotel is located a stone’s throw away from several of the city’s attractions and a few minutes away from the airport. The Nordic designed rooms and suites that are newly renovated focus on comfort and offer scenic views of the of the surrounding mountains, forests, and fjords. Room rates start at Dhs530 per night for two people.
Where to eat – Tromso
An advance booking is required if you wish to dine at this fabulous and unique restaurant inside an old refurbished fishing boat. Expect a long, leisurely dinner here, where you’ll enjoy up to 13 courses of the Arctic’s finest, using only the top ingredients available, and prepared by the ever-smiling Chef Eivind M.E. Austad and his team.
With all the Nordic cuisines available, you may be wondering, why pizza? But, if you love a unique pizza, Yonas Pizzeria is one you should try. The breakfast style pizza is a win, with ham, bacon and whipped eggs, or you could try a local favourite with reindeer meat.
Do’s and don’ts…
DO: dress warm
Layering is the key so pack your thermals and thick winter coats. Gloves and waterproof shoes
are a must.
DO: pick up after yourself.
The Norwegians consciously think: “who’s going to use this after me,” which is why everything is very clean.
DON’T: depend on your credit card.
The smaller stores or cafés may not accept credit cards, so be sure to carry some Krone.
DON’T: Leave without trying the Norwegian cuisine.
Dishes on the menu will include moose, reindeer and of course, plenty of fish which most likely was caught the very same day.
Emirates flies direct from Dubai to Oslo six times a week for Dhs3,895 return (approx). The flight takes seven hours.
SAS flies direct from Oslo to Tromsø for Dhs880 return. The flight takes two hours.
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Images: Getty and provided